milking a highland

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by affenpinschermom, May 28, 2006.

  1. affenpinschermom

    affenpinschermom Well-Known Member

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    Although we have raised highlands for many years, we have never tried milking one. I know there are several on the board here that have highlands and if I understood right, a couple milk them. I have a few questions.
    How hard was it to get them used to milking and what kind of facilities do you have?
    ARe they just grass fed or do you grain them?
    What is the milk like? Does it have any off taste?
    Is the cream content high?
    Sure appreciate any information you can give me.
     
  2. lilsassafrass

    lilsassafrass Well-Known Member

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    I milk a 3/4 highland , and from time to time I will take milk from one of my brood cows.
    The milk has a high cream content .. most beef breeds do , i would say on average guess suzie in her prime had an 8% to 10 % butterfat.
    I grain feed and second cutting hay in winter .. otherwise she is grass fed
    No special facilities .. although i can and sometimes do put her in the grooming shoot to milk .. normally i just milk her in her stall (after I muck)
    some times i fasten her collar sometimes i dont bother ...
    my highlands were no more difficult to heifer train than the few jerseys i have had , patiance and being quick off your mark to keep from getting kicked the first couple times around ... I do cheat now .. I will "gasp " sneak in on teh opposite side as the calf the first week or so when the cow doesnt know any better and usually dont have any problem , as you can guess from that I leave the calf on momma and take what milk i need .. when the calf is older , I lock it up between milkings , take what I need first , and let the calf have the rest .. my family is amaller now I dont need the several gallons of milk a aday , every day this way works for me .
    No reason why you cant milk your highlands .. you might want to consider trimming up the udder and around her belly .. it avoids stuff falling into your pail

    Paula
    Hyde Park Farm
     

  3. affenpinschermom

    affenpinschermom Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the information. I was hoping to leave the calf with the mother in the beginning and then do as you suggested. I hope to give it a try. It is just my husband and I so we don't need a lot of milk, but we do use a lot of butter and cheese.
     
  4. Horace Baker

    Horace Baker Well-Known Member

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    It all comes down to whether she'll let you do it. I tried it once with one of my most docile Highlands, she persistently tried to kick me off, but every animal will be different. The best milk cow we've ever had is our Highland/Holstein cross. Her milk is like liquid ice cream.
     
  5. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    Yum liquid ice cream! :) What does your cow look like?
    I haven't milk ours, I milk the Dexters but the lady I bought my highlands from milked hers. She clipped their udder. She said she got plenty of milk and a high butterfat ratio from hers. :) I would say start early on the gentling and pick one with a nice temprament. I have no doubt mine would kick me right out of the milking shed if I tried! :)
     
  6. affenpinschermom

    affenpinschermom Well-Known Member

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    I had a gentle heifer calf named Holly. I started combing her out at an early age, always able to handle her and had her picked out as my first milking highland. However, she had her first calf a couple of years ago and was such a protective mother that we put that idea right behind us. We are now thinking of it again, but wanted to know if it was feasible. Otherwise we would like to buy a Devon if we can find one. Sounds like some of you have done it successfully, so we can try it again.
     
  7. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    Our dexter is a protective mom too. We've decided after having such problems with her this year we will wait next time until the calf is a couple of weeks old and she mellows out a little. :)
     
  8. Horace Baker

    Horace Baker Well-Known Member

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    Here's a picture of our Highland/Holstein cross
    [​IMG]
     
  9. affenpinschermom

    affenpinschermom Well-Known Member

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    Is the one in the foreground the highland cross or the holstein looking cattle in the background?
     
  10. Horace Baker

    Horace Baker Well-Known Member

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    It's the one in the forground. We've had lots of Highland/Holstein crosses, and none ever looked like a Holstein.
     
  11. phantompark

    phantompark Well-Known Member

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    Wow, love the picture. Hard to tell she's a cross (impossible actually).
    We crossed our Jersey milk cow with our Highlander bull. The heifer looks just like a Jersey with a little longer coat.
    So if anyone wants a good cross. She's six weeks old and for sale!
     
  12. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    She does have different horns and face from a Highland. Thanks for the photo! :) We have Dexter/highland crosses this year and the calves look like dexters.
     
  13. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Let's just see.....milking a Highland.